Woolworths is preparing to launch a new up-market fresh-food retail concept under the Thomas Dux Grocer brand in April or May next year.
The first store, with about half the floor space dedicated to fruit and vegetables, meat, delicatessen foods, dairy and bread, will be a refurbished store in Sydney’s up-market suburb of Paddington.
Another is expected to be opened in the lower north shore suburb of Lane Cove, in an existing Food For Less supermarket site at 62 Burns Bay Rd.
The stores will be less than a third or a quarter the size of full-service supermarkets.
The project, internally codenamed Project Basil, will reportedly be “smart”, but not as high-end as David Jones’s foodhalls, according to a spokeswoman.
David Jones spent more than $120 million between 2000 and 2003 on its Foodchain concept.
The company has played down reports that it has plans to open 60 stores.